Specialized Communication for Children
Importance: effective communication important in dental care (Rozier)
* preventing pain, creating a positive dental experience are essential in building patient-dentist relationship based on trust.
* Promote positive dental attitudes
* Delivery of good oral health care (Clinical Affairs Committee)
* Increased patient satisfaction
* Adherence to healthy behaviors and better oral health outcomes (Rozier)
* Difficulty understanding
* Constantly assess child
* Assess child’s developmental level, behavior, attitudes predict reaction
* Observe behavior and listen (watch for cues: facial expressions, complaining, body movement, crying)
* Use standardized pain scales:
Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPSR)- between ages 4 and 12 Wong-Baker FACES Pain Scale for children over 3 years of ages (Clinical Affairs Committee)
* Language, tone, listening skills
* child’s cognitive development will influence understanding— varying literacy capabilities (Rozier)--the dentist’s body language, vocabulary, detail of explanation should correspond (Clinical Affairs Committee)
* child-level language
* examples: “sugar bugs” = caries, “tickle your tooth”= removing decay, “Mr. Whistle”= handpiece, “Mr. Thirsty”= saliva ejector, “raincoat”= rubber dam (Harrell).
* evaluate child’s behavior/ “cooperative potential” initially during treatment planning
* observation, interacting, questioning child and parent
* behavior at pediatrician’s office = insight (Clinical Affairs Committee)
* Use voice control by means of a firm tone (not by yelling). (Harrell)
* Not just the dentist! Whole office team
* Receptionist/office staff will have first interaction with parents and usually greet child first in the office
* “The clinical staff is an extension...